Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where does the time go?

Yeah, it has been months since, well anything. I am making plans to relaunch, The Educational Mac, both the blog and the podcast. I will be anouncing those plans early in January. So the hiatus, unplanned as it was is just about over. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

K-5 School Launches 1 to1

Now this is a place that I could work for. It doesn't hurt that the principal is a great leader.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How's this for a network experience?

I arrived in St. George, Utah (about a 4.5 hr. drive from home) this morning. I am in St. George to do a couple of workshops for this group tomorrow. When I finally was able to get into the motel room this afternoon I checked Twitter and tweeted about where I was. About 2 hours away in Las Vegas, Cory Plough was monitoring Twitter and noticed I was in St. George and responded about being a couple hours away. I replied and told him what I was doing and told him he should drive up and present with me in the morning. Now the offer was genuine, but I wasn't holding out hope that he would be available and willing. Turns out he was both and Cory will be driving up to present with me in the morning. Want to know the power of the network, as Bill Engvall would say, "Here's Your Sign!"

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Rant of My Own

This one has been festering for a few days. It has been said to me that one of my best qualities is that I don't jump to conclusions. I listen and let things simmer before reacting. One of the problems that I find with having people tell me this is that I now do it more consciously and I think that has hurt the process for me. But the formulation of this post has been more natural as I have thought about events starting with EdubloggerCon on Satuday.

I am not going to spend time stating and restating the different points of view that arose on Saturday. Although, I will admit that initially my reactions went in different directions and were pretty extreme. I even said a few things to others that I wish I wouldn't have said. I don't like saying things on first reaction but I did. For that I am sorry.

However the feelings and conversation that arose from that and during the week got to me a bit. The indirect conversation throughout the week seemed to be all about status. The A list, B list C list, etc. as it relates to the educational blogging community. Is there really a class division going on here. Maybe, maybe not. What I do see is people being in this community for different things, different reasons. I don't care about that either. The fact is that all that choose to be in this community are here. I can choose to take from and give to the community what I want and no one in the community has ever asked about my legitimacy. So I am choosing not to see those in this community as A or Z listers.

What I am choosing to see are the people and my opinion in this regard is that they are all A listers. Everyone of us out there busting our butts to try and make things better for the kids and others we work for and with. I personally did not have an interaction with anyone this week that was not respectful and friendly. In you the community this week I saw many "Pay it forward" moments this week. On Tuesday morning I had the opportunity to help someone out. Tuesday afternoon I got the same treatment from others in my crisis situation. I was constantly greeted with a "Hi, how is the conference going for you." Even when busy in other conversations, people would stop and say hi.

This week I got to spend time with distant friends, many whom I had not met face to face before. Yet I feel like I have known them for years. that was the power of this year's conference for me. It was amazing to sit on a panel with several other people, of which last year at this time I only really knew 2 of them. Again everyone of them "A listers" as far as I am concerned not because of technorati ranking or groupies or whatever, but because that's who they are by nature. They share with me constantly in their writing and their actions.

I am grateful for the time I got to spend physically in my personal learning network this week. It will keep me going for another year. The likelihood of me going to NECC next year is probably not great. But the avenues of attending virtually have been opened and I know that I will be able to still get a lot out of the conference even if I can't attend physically. So for all of those made it happen for others this year, and that will make that happen next year and for all of you in my network I say thank you.

See You in a Few!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Apple's Big Splash at NECC

I am ready to go to the Apple reception this evening. Part of the festivities will be Apple's big splash at NECC. That splash is iTunesU-K12. iTunesU-K12 should debut within the next few hours with content from between 7 and 9 states. Utah is one of the states that will be debuting on iTunesU-K12. I have been working with the Utah group that has been putting together the states efforts on this project.
I believe this project will be somewhat of a game changer. Here K12 ed will have a central gathering place for resources, be they audio, video, text-based, etc. Now I can hear the catcalls and boos coming already. "Here's Apple trying to take control of our content!" I don't believe that this is what it is about at all. Look at what iTunesU has provided for Higher Ed. There are many prestigious universities sharing their content. It is not under Apple's control, they are merely providing the vehicle. Such is the case with iTunesU-K12 as well.
Go to the iTunes store, click on iTunes U, then look for the K12 listing in the bottom left column.
I personally can't wait to see the resources gathered there.

Social Networking in PD

Get the Audio Here!
Recording from the Social Networking in PD session at EdubloggerCon08, held on Saturday, June 28th, 2008 in San Antonio, TX.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Catch the Fever: Viral Professional Development–Add your voice!

Viral Professional Development is emerging in education as a viable method of increasing teacher engagement and learning. Using tools such as Twitter, rss readers, blogs, educational networks, and wikis, educators are collaborating on a grassroots level. This year at NECC, a panel discussion of educators on July 2nd at 1:30 pm CDT will be discussing and live Ustreaming a session to discuss viral professional development.

How did this panel discussion originate?

On Monday, September 17, 2007, Google launched the Google Presentation web application to their suite of services. News of this new service spread quickly through the blogosphere and Twitter and soon more than fifty different people made over 500 edits in a twenty-four hour period to one Google presentation. Since introduced, this presentation has been used by hundreds of people to begin conversations centered on free online tools used to weave a web of connections between people around the world.

As a result of this transformational experience, educators begin discussing the importance of sharing the changing nature of professional development and documentation of best practices in VIRAL professional development. The proposal was written in Google docs and since acceptance, an expanded group of educators around the world has used a wiki, elluminate, and a variety of tools to bring a collaborative, immersive viral PD experience to NECC and to people around the world.

Vicki Davis, moderator
Darren Draper
Kelly Dumont
Kristin Hokanson
Robin Ellis
Ryan Bretag
Beth Ritter-Guth
Carolyn Foote

Backchannel Presenters/ Moderators
John Maklary
Stephanie Sandifer

How can you participate?

At 1:30pm CDT on July 2, we will be participating in a NECC panel discussion that centers on the power of the network. During our presentation we hope to demonstrate to all those attending our session in person (and virtually), just how powerful global collaboration can be. Hence, we are asking for your participation in our presentation as well.

1) Join our Ustream

We will be streaming the presentation live on the Open PD Ustream channel at 1:30 pm CDT on July 2nd. You may watch here and participate in the conversation (and even ask the panelists questions).

2) Leave a comment on our voicethread

One way that you can participate now is by adding your voice to the VoiceThread below. Please take a few minutes and add your thoughts about the different tools depicted through images in the thread. We would truly like as many voices possible, offering a wide range of thought on the usefulness of the common tools we all use in our collaborations.

How do you use these tools? How are they important to your professional development? Please add your voice.

Insert embed code for the voice thread from this page -

3) Join the conversation on the NECC Educational networking site

We've created a discussion thread to converse on this panel discussion at the NECC educational networking site.

Follow our most recent announcements.

All announcements and events pertaining to this session will be announced at the Walls Came Down wiki.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Macworld Presentations

Macworld/IDG has a site called Macworld Encore which has several sessions from the 2008 Macworld. I am not sure I like the format, which is, they basically recorded the audio from sessions while capturing the Keynote or PowerPoint slides. But there is some good information in some of these sessions. Give them a look. See You in a Few!